Working in Brisbane
Updated 6 months ago

The city of Brisbane, located in the north-eastern state of Queensland, is a thriving city of approximately 2.28 million people, with a robust local economy. It is also the largest city in Queensland. Brisbane enjoys a warm climate all year round, and great natural beauty in its surrounding countryside. It is large enough to offer many career opportunities but is also small enough to make new arrivals feel welcome.


Key growth industries in Brisbane are business services, construction, education, finance, government, health, manufacturing, mining, retail, and transport. Construction, education, government, health, and retail, make up more than half of the employment in Brisbane, even though these areas are very labour intensive, it is largely driven by South East Queensland population growth. Brisbane also has a busy port that is important to domestic and international commerce and logistics. Brisbane has seen an 89% increase in jobs advertised in the last year in science and technology and a 40% increase in government and defence job ads. There are also increases in job ads in the fields of marketing, design, and residential construction. Business services have been the fastest-expanding sector in Brisbane. Unemployment sits at 5.5 per cent in Brisbane city, and 6.1 per cent in greater Brisbane.

Obtaining a working visa

To work in Brisbane, you must first obtain a visa that allows for employment within Australia. You may wish to consider the Working Holiday Visa (WHV) or a skilled employment visa. You will be eligible for a work and holiday visa if you are over 18 but under 31, and you want to work for a period of twelve months in Brisbane. This visa allows you to work for a period of six months for one employer and for another employer during the time remaining until your visa expires. This visa can sometimes be extended for a second or third year, if you complete three months of work in regional or remote Australia. For this visa type, you will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses during your stay in the country.

If you are a qualified foreign worker with experience in a specific area, you may be eligible for a Temporary Skill Shortage Visa. This is a new visa type that replaces the former 457 skilled worker visa. It allows employers to hire and sponsor workers to relocate to Australia if their field of work is considered to have a shortage of local workers. Please consult the Department of Immigration for more information on Australian visa options.

Job-hunting in Brisbane

To find work in Brisbane, it is helpful to have strong English language skills and a current CV and cover letter that showcases your background and experience. Practising your interview skills is also helpful so that you make a positive first impression on potential employers. Always tailor your CV and cover letter for each job you are applying for and research the company.

The majority of job vacancies are listed on career search websites or through employment agencies. It is helpful to search online regularly, as new jobs are listed daily, and to also register with an agency. Best online job websites include Seek, Careerone, and Ethically Jobs. Employment agencies can help with short or long term placement, regardless of experience level. They can also provide valuable advice on the Australian working environment, which may be different than your home country, and help you with interview and CV techniques. Hays and Michael Page are popular agencies in Brisbane. If you are in Brisbane on a work and holiday visa, you may wish to consider work in retail or hospitality, casual administrative work, or labour and construction.

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